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How to exclude people not in a small geographical area

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# 1
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I run a campaign for a preschool in the UK. All customers come from a very small geographic area (6km radius). I want to exclude anyone from outside this area. I tried changing the target to "People in my targeted location" and "People in, searching for or viewing pages about my excluded location". I then excluded adjacent post codes. I defined my target area with one post code and a radius. The result was that my ads stopped being shown.

Should I dispence with the radius and just use post codes? Should I change the target to "People in, searching for or viewing pages about my targeted location". Is there an alternative method to exclude anyone not with 6km of the preschool?

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Marked as Best Answer.
Accepted by topic author Michael S
September 2015

Re: How to exclude people not in a small geographical area

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# 2
Top Contributor

Hi Michael,


AdWords location targeting is not an exact science and generally speaking the smaller the area you attempt to target, the bigger your problems are going to become.  This is particularly true of the UK where we have an older infrastructure that can often report locations for internet users many miles from their actual location.  For example, I'm frequently shown as being more than 30 miles from my actual address.


6km is a very small radius indeed and if you're targeting only this radius it's quite possible that AdWords finds very few, if any, people who appear to be within that radius.  Note that if you've got your "positive" location targeting set to "people in my targeted location" you don't actually need to exclude any other areas since this setting implies exclusion.


When targeting a very small and/or specific area it's often more efficient to target the location by town/village/area name and use a wider location targeting setting.  For example, use Keywords like "preschool leyburn" and a location target of about 20 miles around Leyburn (a town near me).  You can also use a wider radius without these town names, but making sure your Ads include the name, e.g. Preschool in Leyburn as the headline.  You may also want to create a Campaign focused on mobile devices since these can often report very accurate locations.


If it were me, I'd probably combine several approaches.  I'd have a Campaign with a 20 mile radius using town names in the Keywords and in the Ads.  I'd have another Campaign with a 10m radius without the town Keywords but still with the names in the Ads, and a mobile Campaign targeted very precisely, perhaps by postcodes.


Ultimately, you'll need to test, test, and test again.  Targeting small regions is very difficult to do effectively so you'll need to experiment with various options.

Does the school have a Google Business Account and are you using this in your AdWords as a location extension?



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Re: How to exclude people not in a small geographical area

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# 3
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Hi Jon,
thanks for your reply. I do have a verified business location and it is set up as an adwords extension. There was one parameter I forgot to tell you, my budget is very very small. So I have set up only one Campaign. I have changed all my ads to contain a town name. i am using concentric radii to bid higher on locations closer to the preschool and a negative band outside 6 km to try to remove searches from people outside my target area. I have added a bid multiplier on Mobile devices because their location is more accurate. I am reviewing my Keywords, but have not changed them yet. I have stated to add location names as negative key words. Thanks for your help